SANTA CLARA – Nose tackle Ian Williams still envisions a return to the practice field for the start of training camp, but he wants to make sure he does not come back too soon.
“That’s the goal. It’s attainable,” Williams said on Tuesday in the 49ers' locker room. “I want to make sure I’m close to 100 (percent) because my position is very different than others.
“I have two guys, at times, pushing on me, so I have different angles I got to hold 700 pounds sometimes. So I want to make sure my ankle is as close to 100 as possible.”
Williams sustained a fractured left fibula (near his ankle) and significant ligament damage on a then-legal cut block from Seattle right guard J.R. Sweezy in a Week 2 game. He underwent four surgeries, including the final one in February to remove the plate from his leg.
“It took a lot out of me,” Williams said of the surgeries in which screws and plates were inserted and later removed.
Williams continues to rehab every day at the 49ers’ practice facility but he has been held out of practice sessions during organized team activities.
“It feels good, just a little weak,” Williams said. “That comes with having surgery. But it feels better every day, every week, every month.”
In March, the NFL passed a rule that calls for a clipping penalty to be enforced if an offensive player’s block (legal or illegal) is followed by the blocker rolling up on the back or side of the legs of a defender. Sweezy would have been penalized under the new rule.
Williams called the rule change a “good start.” But he could not get into the specifics of the play in question because he has yet to watch a replay of his season-ending injury.
“It’s something you don’t want in the back of your mind when you’re out there playing,” Williams said. “I might watch the beginning of the play, but when it happens, I pause it or look away.”